(Josef Elias Benkowitz)
August 15, 1924 – May 18, 2013
We've profiled Swedish Jews, Danish Jews, Finnish Jews, and even an Icelandic Jew. But where is that elusive Norwegian Jew to complete the Scandinavian collection?
Perhaps it has something to do with Norway's role in World War II. Let's just say that they didn't fare too well compared to their Scandinavian neighbors. Not that there were many Jews in Norway to begin with (we don't like the cold), but a third of them were taken by Nazis and perished in concentration camps. Many others were forced to escape to Sweden, dwindling Norway's Jewish population to miniscule numbers.
Considering how few of them there are, it's actually amazing that a Jew rose to prominence in Norway. Jo Benkow led his country's Conservative Party, and for eight years was the President of the Storting (parliament).
So, now the Scandinavian collection is complete. Just don't expect another Norwegian profile...
August 5, 2015